The holiday season is usually a time of joy and celebration, but for the elderly it can also be a time of great sadness and depression. For many seniors the holidays serve as reminders of how lonely they may be, the friends and family that have passed on, physical limitations and lack of ability to get out and attend family get-togethers.
Schedule regular visits to seniors in Long Term Care or Assisted Living Facilities – arrange and engage in regular phone contact when family members are distant, so that seniors don’t feel they have been abandoned and forgotten.
Make sure seniors feel special and are provided with a sense of self-worth. Do whatever you can to involve seniors in holiday activities, call upon their expertise and wisdom when making decisions about holiday plans and enlist their help with holiday traditions.
Share memories. Holidays provoke memories, which can be especially powerful in the later years of life.
If you feel an older senior is dealing with long-term depression that seems worse at holiday time, schedule a visit with their physician to discuss those concerns.
It is too easy to overlook elderly family members and friends at this time of year, and they may not always be able to verbalize why they are feeling sad or depressed. Keeping them actively involved during the holiday season will remind them that they are important and vital members of the family and community.
Information provided by Pam Walker, Administrator, Adel Acres 1919-Greene Str., 993-4511